Last week business entrepreneur Dick Smith blamed cheap Aussie shoppers for his food company going bust, but new findings have revealed that it’s not just groceries that shoppers are trying to save money on.
A survey by comparison website finder.com.au found that Australians are more likely to purchase an appliance if it’s cheaper, rather than being more energy efficient. As many as eight million shoppers don’t rate energy efficiency when purchasing new appliances, while 41 per cent admitted they don’t consider the energy rating at all.
When it comes to buying a new appliance, the main priorities for Aussies are price (88 per cent), brand reputation (63 per cent) and features (60 per cent). However, while it may seem cheap at the time of purchase, failing to pay attention to the energy rating could cost you more in the long run if the device is chewing through more power.
“Don’t be dazzled by cheap prices – a power-hungry appliance can end up costing you much more in electricity in the long run,” Angus Kidman, editor-in-chief at finder.com.au said. “For instance, a more energy-efficient dryer can save you $1,000 over 10 years, so it’s worth spending more.”
The survey, which questioned the shopping habits of 2,085 Aussies, found that despite the results, Baby Boomers were actually the most energy-conscious generation of all. In fact, 73 per cent of Boomers consider an appliance’s energy rating compared to 60 per cent of Gen X, 47 per cent of Gen Y and 43 per cent of Gen Z.
Kidman said many shoppers consider the initial outlay above anything else when making a purchase.
“It’s no surprise that Aussies base their purchase decision on the up-front cost,” he said. “When you’re comparing it can be hard to see past a low price tag or a snazzily-designed appliance.”
In many cases, cheaper options on the market can be more energy efficient than more expensive appliances and can save Australians more in the long run.
“By switching your household to energy-efficient appliances you’ll save on average around $380 a year off your energy bull – that’s almost $4,000 in bill saving over 10 years,” Kidman added. “Even after factoring in appliance costs, you could easily be ahead almost $2,000.”
For example, a clothes dryer with a 2-star energy rating that costs $719 up-front will cost $308 to run a year and $3,801 in total ownership costs over a decade. Meanwhile, a dryer with 5.5-star rating could cost $1,399 at the time of purchase, but cost $166 each year to run and $3,078 total cost over 10 years. An 8-star dryer, which costs $1,599 when purchased initially, costs just $99 a year to run and $2,589 in total costs over 10 years.
The survey also found men were more likely to be energy efficient when it came to appliances, with 64 per cent placing energy rating on their list of appliance criteria compared to 53 per cent of women. Perth was the most energy conscious Aussie city at 63 per cent, compared with 55 per cent in Melbourne and Sydney.
As such, there are several things to consider when purchasing an appliance. Like many electronics, newer models of appliances are generally more energy efficient, so sometimes it pays to purchase something that is newer. Also, meeting somewhere in the middle can also prove beneficial, so opting for something a little bit more expensive that has a better energy rating than a cheaper model can still save you money. The government’s energy rating label app can assist customers making an energy decision.